Graveside services for Mrs. Marie-Ange “Mimi” Francois Gray, age 89 of Ruston, LA will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, June 16, 2023 at the Little Chapel at the Colonial Gardens Cemetery in Marshall, TX. Burial will be held under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston. Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00 AM, Friday, June 16, 2023 at the Little Chapel at the Colonial Gardens Cemetery in Marshall.
Mimi was born on December 19, 1933 in Inor, France in the Meuse region to Angele Darte Francois and Gustave Francois and departed this world on June 10, 2023 in Ruston. She was six years old at the beginning of World War II. Her father was taken as a prisoner of war, and Mimi, her mother and her grandfather all fled to the southwestern part of France as Germany invaded the area around her home. When the war was over, she and her family returned to the Meuse region and lived in Neuvilly. In 1948, Mimi and her family moved to Verdun, France where she attended St. Joseph Catholic High School. After graduating from high school, she went to work in an office on the U.S. Military base in Verdun, and she met and fell in love with the man who would become her husband Jack Gray. Upon Jack’s discharge from the Army in 1955, they were married and moved to the United States. After moving to Shreveport, LA, Mimi had two sons and was the proud wife of Jack who had a successful football coaching career. They moved to Ruston for a couple of years and then moved to Marshall where Mimi taught her native language as a French teacher for 20 years for the Marshall Texas School System. After retirement, she spent many hours maintaining beautiful flowers in her yard, playing with her dogs and working on numerous crafting projects. Mimi enjoyed taking trips back to France with her grandchildren and staying connected with her French family. She was so proud of her great-grandchildren and loved sharing pictures and videos of them. Mimi shared with her family her love of French culture, food, antiques and history. She had a determined and resilient spirit, and even after facing many hardships in her early life she embodied such a kind, genuine and caring soul and was compassionate to everyone around her. Mimi was preceded in death by her son Jon Francois Gray; husband Jack Alton Gray; and parents.
Left to cherish Mimi’s memory are her son Gary Gray and wife Robin of Farmerville, LA; grandchildren: Jack Gray and wife Jennifer of Brandon, MS, Jessie and husband TJ Bryan of Simsboro, LA, Jordan Gray of Lebanon, NH, and Wesley Gray of Ruston; great-grandchildren: Madison Owens, Harper Owens, Eli Gray, Will Gray, Lily Grace Bryan and Landry Gray.
Honoring Mimi as pallbearers are her grandsons: Jack Gray, Jordan Gray, Wesley Gray and TJ Bryan, great-grandson Eli Gray and special friend Jeff Seal.
The family offers very special and heartfelt thanks for the excellent care, love and concern of Mimi to the staff and therapists at Alpine, Premiere Hospice and for all of her special caregivers.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that anyone interested may contribute donations to the Harrison County Humane Society.